How to Pick a Medical Assistant School near Albany Kentucky
Now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Albany KY, it’s time to choose a school that will provide the right training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many future students start by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important factors also. You may decide to research several online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the colleges you are examining. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you need to ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the role of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are offered.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The duties of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Primarily their duty is ensure that the Albany KY clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work run successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they can be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found working at the front desk or in an office. Some of the potential responsibilities of a medical assistant include:
- Completing insurance forms and filing claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Providing general support during examinations and procedures
Although medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are qualified to under Kentucky law, some prefer to specialize in a specific area and earn certification. Two of the choices available are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Education
Compared to many other medical practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become licensed, certified, or to have a college degree. However, a number of Albany KY health care employers choose to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially 2 options available for a formal education. The first and shortest path to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs normally take about a year to complete, a few as little as six to nine months. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second option is to earn an Associate Degree, which are typically two year programs provided at community and junior colleges in addition to vocational and technical schools. They are more extensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include general education courses in addition to the medical assistant training. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be applied to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Medical Assistant Online Programs
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs accessible online as well. They are an excellent alternative for individuals who may not have the time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good choice for students who continue working full time while earning their degree or certificate. As an extra benefit, some online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on campus alternatives. Ancillary expenses including those for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be lessened as well. Just remember that all requirements for practical training or internships must still be fulfilled, but they can typically be performed in Albany KY area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of attending supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education may be the ideal choice for you. Between the online classes and the practical training, everything needed to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is provided.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal requirement, but is a good idea for graduates who want to boost their careers. Not only will it help in securing a job after graduation, but it may also help with preliminary salary negotiations. A number of potential Albany KY medical employers simply will not employ a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. One of the most popular and arguably the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). In order to sit for the CMA examination, a candidate must have graduated or will be graduating within thirty days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered as well, for instance the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
Points to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Prior to reviewing your medical assistant school options, you have to choose which kind of credential you would like to attain, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online at home. As soon as those decisions have been made, you can begin the procedure of evaluating medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are nearest to Albany KY with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional factors that you should look at when evaluating programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons to make certain that the school you choose is accredited. To start with, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Next, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged organizations for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not offered for non-accredited programs. And last, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Albany KY employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited school.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? The majority of accredited medical assistant colleges develop their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must find out which of the certifications the colleges you are looking at are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for example, then obviously you will want to select a program focused on that certification. Next, find out what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. This is one of the ways to help evaluate the quality of a college’s program. Naturally schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to eliminate.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can choose a certificate or diploma program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to 1 year. Or you can elect to earn an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about 2 years to complete in a junior college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to pursue, confirm that the colleges you are reviewing offer the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Provided? Numerous medical assistant colleges offer internship programs with Albany KY area medical care providers. They are a great method to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They may also help students build relationships within the Albany healthcare community. And as an additional benefit, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding that very first job can be a challenging undertaking for medical assistant school graduates unless they receive a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are researching offer job placement assistance in the Albany KY area and ask what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also indicates that it has a broad network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive during your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish greater access to instructors and face to face interaction. If convenient, try to monitor a couple of classes before choosing a school to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students receive.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant college while you continue working on a full time basis, it’s important that the school you select provides classes that fit your schedule. If you have to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Albany KY, confirm that those times are available. You might be able to fit your classes in more easily with an online program, but you will also have to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Albany Kentucky?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Albany KY area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Albany is a home rule-class city in Clinton County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 2,033 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Clinton County. It is located on U.S. Route 127, about 6 miles (10 km) north of the Tennessee border.
The community of Albany grew up around a tavern established by Benjamin Dowell in the early 19th century. In 1837, residents voted to make the location the seat of county government. It is generally accepted that the town, formally incorporated on January 27, 1838, was named after Albany, New York, but a local legend holds that, during the vote to determine the location of the county seat, patrons of Dowell's tavern shouted "All for Benny!", then "all Benny," which led to the town being called Albany.
During the Civil War, Albany was attacked by Confederate forces, and many buildings, including the courthouse, were burned. A marker in the courthouse square notes that Clinton was the native county of Civil War terrorist Champ Ferguson, hanged after the war for atrocities.
Choose the Best Medical Assistant College Albany KY
It’s essential to start your new career on the right foot by choosing a medical assistant program that will furnish the appropriate training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to pursue medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right info on available programs prior to making your selection. There are so many schools providing training nowadays that you can make a decision based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have discussed in this article, make certain that the program you decide on is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Curriculum. But regardless of the kind of credential that you intend to earn or if you have decided to attend either an on-campus or online school, make sure to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the best program you can subsequently start a gratifying career as a medical assistant in Albany KY.
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